• Question: I was wondering if you guys do writing do on a daily basis? And if you do, what kind of writing? Are you in charge of writing mostly official documents or is it mainly e-mail and memos? Also, who are you usually writing to? Is it mainly other engineers or individuals with a similar background? Also, are there any journals or blogs that you read for your field?

    Asked by Ore Jay to Ashley, Catherine, John G, Laura, Ray on 13 Nov 2014.
    • Photo: Laura Tobin

      Laura Tobin answered on 13 Nov 2014:

      As a PhD student, I tend to do a lot of writing. If I want to do an experiment, I have to record it down in my lab note book and afterwards hopefully I can write a journal paper on my research. I’m also writing up my thesis, so this is going to be a book of all the work I’ve done in the last few years. When I go to conferences I usually write a paper or an abstract for the conference proceedings. Then there are the reports that are due every 3 months to report on my work for those past 3 months. There’s paper work when I want to order something and then there’s a lot of paper work when I write for funding applications. Basically every job has a lot of paper work. It’s not hard but it can be a bit tedious.

      Most of the engineers I work with did their degree in engineering, unlike me. I have one friend who did her degree in maths & finance and is now doing a PhD in electrical engineering.

      I read a lot of journals / blogs / science articles in the Guardian. I don’t do it because I have to (apart form journals in my filed) but because I find them interesting. Many of the blogs are in areas that are not my field of study. I like to broaden my knowledge. Mainly I like to read PhD comics, The Oatmeal or XKCD comics!

    • Photo: John Ging

      John Ging answered on 13 Nov 2014:

      I like to read lighreading.com and heavyreading.com plus lots of Cigre Technical Brochures, especially before bed. 🙂
      Most of my job is writing up reports about studies. I’ve written a “law” into place for the electricity system, I’ve also written numerous journal papers and technical information notes. I probably write over 50 emails a day for various technical issues. I usually write to other engineers but lately its to the regulators, people in other companies, our lawyers, our commercial and contracts people and our finance team.
      I love writing code though. It gives me the most joy!

    • Photo: Catherine Conaghan

      Catherine Conaghan answered on 14 Nov 2014:

      I do a lot of writing as well. A lot of e-mails either internally or to partners from other companies working on projects with us. I have to do a good bit of formal report writing to write up what we have achieved in various stages of projects which then gets sent to the European Commission to be approved so we can continue getting funding for projects.

      I also write project proposal’s which take the most time – these are to present an idea to the EC with a group of other companies for large projects. I like this part of it to through as English was my favourite subject after Maths and Physics.

    • Photo: Ashley Culbert

      Ashley Culbert answered on 14 Nov 2014:

      Most of my writing is Email and memos.

      I use Email to communicate with my project teams as its good to set out what’s needed on paper so to speak. Nothing is forgotten if it’s written down.

      My memos are more formal they are my way of communicating with my boss. In these I set out what the issue is on the project. I then recommend a way of fixing the issue and how much this will cost in time and/or money. This is how I let my boss to approve my additional spend on the projects.

      I read the Engineers journal, and ReNews which keep me up to date with whats happing in renewable energy

    • Photo: Ray Alcorn

      Ray Alcorn answered on 16 Nov 2014:

      Great question. I spend a lot of my day reading emails and replying to all manor. Sometimes very official documents, reports and papers and sometimes just quick responses.